chocolate pudding

A few days ago, I heard that Ina Garten would be signing her new cookbook at Crate and Barrel, and while I really didn’t need the book, I could find no excuse to pass up meeting one of my favorite chefs who has brought me so many delicious recipes. I went directly after school, unintentionally but tactfully bumping people out of the way with my large backpack, and waited on line for an hour. I had been going over all the questions I wanted to ask her (her answer to “what is your favorite food” would be tomorrow’s dinner), but could only manage to snag a quick “thanks” befor ebeing guided away from the hustle and bustle and out of the store and into a cab home. I’d like to think her answer was this, just for an excuse to make something so unecessary and rich and delicious.
Up until last week, if you handed me a bowl of pudding, I probably wouldn’t eat it. I usually find that people have a love hate relationship with pudding, the latter rightfully arguing that the supermarket variety it just isn’t as satisfying as say, a bowl of ice cream or a slice of cake. But this week I was torn trying to decide what to cook up next; my heart was pulling me towards a much coveted chocolate peanut butter cake, but my stubbornness to fit into my jeans at the end of the weekend pulled me elsewhere.
I took the original, delicious recipe for this pudding and easily lightened it up a bit by swapping half the whole milk with skim milk. The only result is that it doesn’t quite thicken up over the double boiler, so after a while I just put it straight over the stove and that did the trick. I hardly noticed a difference, and hopefully you won’t either, because the dark chocolate makes the pudding rich and intense, with just enough sweetness from the semisweet chocolate to make you lick your lips after the first bite and ponder why you ever doubted in the first place.
Silky Chocolate Pudding
Adapted from John Scharffenberger
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk (or 1 1/2c whole milk, 1 1/2c skim)
3 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 1/2 oz semisweet chocolate (I used chips)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler. Slowly whisk in the milk, scraping the bottom and sides with a heatproof spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients. Place over gently simmering water and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides. Use a whisk as necessary should lumps begin to form. After 15 to 20 minutes, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, add the chocolate. Continue stirring for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until the pudding is smoooth and thickened. If the mixture does not thicken, transfer to saucepan and continue stirring until it does. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a serving bowl or into a large measuring cup with a spout and pour into individual serving dishes.
If you like pudding skin, pull plastic wrap over the top of the serving dish(es) before refrigerating. If you dislike pudding skin, place plastic wrap on top of the pudding and smooth it gently against the surface before refrigerating. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.
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3 Responses to chocolate pudding

  1. Gerald Berliner says:

    Looks yummy. Can it be made sugar free though? Kinda defeating the object of the exercise I know :)

  2. Emily says:

    Thanks…I don’t see why you couldn’t make it sugar-free but you’d have to make sure the chocolate chips are also sugar free. And its the other way around… baking is why we have exercising!

  3. paul says:

    every time I visit one of your wonderful blogs I feel sorry for myself that I’m not eating over!!

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